Throughout the several gray cold months now past, I have made it day by day with one image front and center in my mind's eye: me sitting on the porch of Starbucks in Doylestown drinking an venti iced latté and smoking a nice cigar.
So I was thrilled to the very core of my being when I saw that the weather report was calling for the temperature to approach Eighty this week. The time had come! And it's still only April!
Okay, so Wednesday would have been the perfect day. I even had off work. But no. In the afternoon I had a meeting with the real estate brokers who will likely represent me in the sale of the house. Afterwards, I had to stop at the bank, and then I had to do some shopping and rush home to bake a cake. Each of those elements ended up taking twice as long as I thought they would.
So close, but no cigar. So to speak.
It wasn't looking likely. I worked 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then I was hosting the Baron that evening for dinner and (the aforementioned) birthday cake. I ended up working later than planned, and as I was rushing out of Ho(t)me(n) Depot to head to the supermarket, I had another idea.
Y'see, I have recently discovered this really cool mexican restaurant in Plumsteadville of all places. I was hopeful going into the place, since there actually is something of a mexican population in Plumsteadville. The food was dee-lish, and smacked of a vague authenticity. So instead of treating the Baron to one of my home-cooked dinners, I would treat him to dinner at Mariachi Restaurant of Plumsteadville.
That, I realized, would give me the time I needed. So I headed to Doylestown, and there I was, sitting on the porch of Starbucks, drinking my iced venti latté (which I've taken to ordering without the ice), and smoking a nice CAO red label maduro robusto.
And watching the boys.
For me, that event marks the First Day of Spring. Not that day on the 22nd of March, which, as I recall, was cold and overcast. Such a recipe for complete and utter bliss. After a leisurely spent afternoon, I raced home like a bat out of hell to put the icing on the Baron's birthday cake.
And there my troubles began.
In the past, I've started with about two sticks of butter and added the confectioners sugar "to taste." Usually ending up adding about a cup and a half. Two cups if I was feeling pretty daring. The recipe I found called for three sticks of butter, and two pounds--as in two one pound boxes--of confectioners sugar.
I mean, really?
It seems that this is the combination that works. The sugar strands stretch and stretch and you end up with an immense volume of buttercream frosting. Whereas in the past, I had to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure I got complete coverage of the birthday cake, I had plenty.
As in more than plenty.
So I could gleefully eat dollops of frosting and not worry about not having enough. In fact, I had plenty left over.
But sadly, I had forgotten that at my advanced age, I really can't handle all that sugar.
My heart was palpitating. My face was flushed. My throat was dry. I was jittery and edgy. When the Baron arrived, he took one look at me and asked, "Are you okay?"
I explained that I'd just eaten enormous quantities of sugar, probably more sugar in the last hour than I've had cumulatively in the past five years of my life, and I was feeling the effects. And just be warned, I explained: soon, I would be crashing. The Baron steeled himself, preparing for the possibility of me falling asleep face first in my guacamole.
Luckily, the nice mexican food at El Mariachi did me well. (I loves me my starch!) And I managed to make it all the way through dinner in an upright position. But as soon as we got in the door, I had to tell the Baron that he would have to load up his sister's SUV that he had used to drive up here with the perennials I got him for his birthday himself, because I was going to bed.
And so I did. And was asleep almost immediately.
But not before smiling to myself and remembering that April 17th was the first day of 2008 that I got to enjoy by sitting on the porch of Starbucks in Doylestown drinking an iced latté and enjoying a cigar.